The holiday season is now in full swing and most of us are preparing for Christmas and New Years festivities. Although this time of year is normally filled with anticipation and surprises, it can be just as overwhelming and frantic. With that being said, emotions can be magnified if you’re planning on hosting a holiday get-together with family or friends. Not only do you have to determine how many people are coming, but also figure out how you’re going to feed everyone. If you’ve hosted a holiday gathering before, then you know it can be a lot of work. If you haven’t, then it’s easy to underestimate what you’re getting yourself into.
If you’ve never hosted before, having a lot of people in your house can be enlightening to say the least. It’s easy to underestimate the responsibility that comes with inviting people to your home for an extensive amount of time. When you think about it, the flow of some spaces wasn’t designed to handle a crowd. Some homes just aren’t ideal for reckless kids amped up on sugar. If you haven’t played out every scenario in your head then certain concerns or even dangers can arise in the midst of chaos.
While managing some of these circumstances effectively can save the day, the unexpected may cause you to feel inclined to fix some of the issues before next holiday season. Once the festivities are over, it’s easy for homeowners to look at home improvement as a way to retain their right to host (or host successfully) in the future. Because of this, we thought it would be fun to look at some of the reasons why.
Have you ever had a party where you plan on having everyone in a certain room but they end up somewhere else? Whether it’s on the back patio for a nightcap or in the office with someone who found a guitar, guests can migrate unexpectedly. This is more commonly true when family or friends visit during the holidays. A lack of seating in these areas can be stressful if you’re the host. You might even become consumed with the thought of home improvement while everyone else is enjoying themselves.
Although folding chairs and bean bags will suffice, some homeowners have been looking for a reason to improve their ability to host large groups of people. A home addition or an exterior renovation can easily play to your advantage when it comes to determining where the holidays are hosted every year. Providing a room designed to entertain or creating an outdoor living space also gives family and friends something extra to look forward to.
At the same time, entertaining guests with an ample lounge might not address the seating issue. When there are more guests than anticipated, eating dinner can get a little complicated. Limited space won’t work in your favor if you want everyone to eat the holiday meal together – and not on your clean couches. We’ve talked to plenty of homeowners interested in a kitchen and dining room remodel specifically for family gatherings. Whether you need more space for next year’s holiday or you want to hold a family get-together for the first time, home improvement just might appeal to you.
When it comes to hospitality, most hosts want guests to feel comfortable during their visit. This is especially true for moments that guests are alone in the house. When it comes to privacy during gatherings, most solitude occurs in the bathroom. When family or old friends visit during the holidays, it’s not uncommon for them to stay the night. A clean and presentable hall bath might seem like enough but what do you do when it’s occupied more frequently than you expected? What happens when a plumbing issue occurs during the party? If you’re limited on options and forget to deep clean your personal bathroom then things can get awkward real quick. Moreover, if people have to go through personal spaces to reach their destination, it can place you in a very vulnerable situation.
Aside from availability, people that stay the night probably prefer to have their own accommodations. Access to a personal shower, dual sinks and a private toilet (that can handle their loads) will probably be received well by everyone involved. In most cases, guests aren’t going to be too thrilled about being forced to take a bath or use a plunger during their visit. Besides feeling like a failure because an inconvenience altered the flow of the holiday season, uncomfortable situations might cause your guest to second-guess a return next year.
Most homeowners aren’t going to be able to prevent wash room woes until they’ve experienced a problem. Unfortunately it’s just too difficult to predict how people will respond to limitations. Either way, bathroom malfunctions and less-than-ideal scenarios during the holidays tend to produce thoughts about home improvement. Small solutions like installing a shower or upgrading toilets and sinks can preserve your role as host moving forward.
As aforementioned, not all guests leave after dinner and dessert. While stopping by for a few hours is routine for families that live close, many aren’t accustomed to seeing each other very often. They treat these gathering like a family (or class) reunion and take advantage of the opportunity to reconnect. In these scenarios, it’s common for conversations and activities go late into the evening. Reminiscing about Christmas past, catching up on life or quietly playing charades (while the kids sleep in the other room) can be exhausting. Providing your guests with reserved sleeping arrangements will more than likely put a bow on top of their experience in your home.
When it comes to hosting family members overnight during the holidays, modifications are typically unavoidable. Adding a spare bedroom or remodeling a space in your home may be on your mind if certain accommodations are needed. Children, specifically babies normally require a separate room (or quarters) to ensure they’re getting enough undisturbed sleep. Cranky kids or difficulties in managing their routine can really weigh on parents or other guests.
Family members with medical conditions or aging parents may also prefer certain accommodations. If there are a lot of people in the home, it may force them to stay at a hotel or someone else’s house while they’re in town. Poor sleeping arrangements can also detour those that are unable to withstand physical discomfort. Paying for a sleep-o-matic hotel bed might be worth it if they know it’s going to limit them throughout the weekend. If you’re unable to accommodate the guests you rarely see, then it can limit the time you have with them during the holidays. Experiencing this may cause a lot of homeowners to think about investing in home improvement to conveniently encourage family members to stay next year.
While all of the reasons above might sound great, sometimes home improvement doesn’t need to be so drastic. Many families and friends simply look forward to the holiday season for the memories and moments – not necessarily the privileges. Although you may feel obligated to provide top-of-the-line hospitality during the holidays, it’s important that you do focus on the atmosphere you’re fostering – not just the environment. If you’re worried about the guest experience, don’t be afraid to ask them how they feel. In a season of giving, chances are they’re more grateful than you think.
Unless you’re really looking for a reason to revamp your abode, there’s no need to feel like you have to upgrade just to get people to join you during the holidays. There are plenty of cost-effective ways to improve your home before next year’s gathering. Instead of a total reconstruction, you can always alter a few areas of the home to better accommodate your guests.
If some of the kids almost ran into a countertop or corner because of the home’s flow, then maybe you should consider knocking out a wall or repositioning the kitchen island. If you found out that tile throughout doesn’t mesh well with Grandma’s Christmas socks, then it might be a good idea to add carpet to some of the high traffic areas.
There are even simple solutions for those of you that are concerned with doors being left open when the heat is on. Upgrading doors, windows and locks is a good way to ensure the home is safe, secure and warm as people come and go. If you’re worried about guests feeling safe or your ability to monitor who visits the property, a security system with cameras might make sense. Energy efficient lighting can impact your electric bill if lights are continuously left on.
There are plenty of technological systems available to homeowners for relatively affordable prices. Would a new fireplace or a surround sound keep everyone in the room you’d like? Investing in minor, preventative measures can go a long way towards a well-functioning home. Thinking about these small home improvements once the holiday season is over will help you avoid breaking the bank while planning for next year.
Whatever is it that you choose to do, we’re sure you’ll be able to provide a Merry Christmas to all – and to all a good night!